SANTA ROSA, Calif. - Coffey Park was one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the Tubbs Fire on Oct. 8, 2017, where more than 1,400 homes were destroyed.
On Monday, exactly one year later, the streets and driveways are all still here, but where homes and mature trees once stood - you now see the frames of new houses.
There are homes in various stages of construction here on Coffey Lane and Hopper Avenue and throughout the Santa Rosa neighborhood.
Throughout the city, CalFire estimated that more than 4,600 homes were destroyed, making it
one of the most devastating and destructive fires in state history.
The first home to be rebuilt here in Coffeey Park was completed back in May. And as Monday, 24 homes were rebuilt, 551 were under construction, and another 250 or so were waiting for permits.
Throughout Santa Rosa, 1,217 homes were in the rebuild process or completed, and 753 were under construction, city numbers showed.
“Hearing all the construction noise and sounds and seeing all the houses going up, it just feels good and it brings a lot of hope,” said Margaret Curzon, a neighbor.
Dave Leal looked around and said, “Six months ago, this looked like a bombing area. Now it looks like a new subdivision.”
Santa Rosa created a special permit department to streamline the process of rebuilding. But going through insurance and mortgage companies to get the funds needed to rebuild has been challenging for some families. And for some, the cost to rebuild was too high.
In other neighborhoods devastated by the fire, like fountain grove, the rebuilding process has been slower.
The Press Democrat reports in that neighborhood, there were, at last check, 122 homes under construction, compared to the roughly 400 in Coffey Park.
At 4 p.m. in the courthouse square in downtown, Santa Rosa is holding a special observance ceremony to mark the year since the Tubbs Fire. The ceremony will include a memorial bell ringing to remember the people who lost their lives in the fire.